Rabu, 23 Juli 2014

PEOPLE NOW ASK PRESIDENT-ELECT TO REALIZE PROMISES

By Andi Abdussalam  
          Jakarta, July 23 (Antara) - The General Elections Commission (KPU) on Tuesday evening had announced Joko Widodo (Jokowi)-Jusuf Kalla (JK) pair as the winner of the Indonesian July 9, 2014, presidential race against their competitor Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa duo.
         Jokowi and JK, who will be inaugurated as the president and vice president on October 20 for a five-year period until October 20, 2019, are expected to implement their programs and promises made during the pre-election campaigns.
         "The president-elect should remain controlled and remember the promises he had made during the pre-election campaigns. Support and criticism against the president-elect will make democracy--as an essential means of popular control on public affairs-- function maximally," political observer Ari Dwipayana of the Gadjah Mada University said.
         Ibrahim, a political observer in Pangkalpinang, Riau Islands Province, agreed, saying that the president-elect must give substance to the promises he had made to the people during campaigning.
         "The president-elect should now start proving his promises to the people of Indonesia. As a leader who holds the people's mandate, he has to prove and realize his promises and programs," he said on Tuesday.

Senin, 21 Juli 2014

ASDP GEARING UP FOR MILLIONS OF LEBARAN TRAVELERS

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, July 21 (Antara) - State-owned Inland Waterway Transportation Service PT ASDP in cooperation with state-owned shipping firm PT Pelni is taking necessary steps to provide transportation for post-fasting month Idul Fitri holidaymakers, or Lebaran travelers.
         Beginning this week, about 24 million Lebaran travelers, locally known as "pemudik," have started their exodus for family reunions in their hometowns during the Idul Fitri holidays. 
    The homeward and return flow of travelers will last from about 7 days before and 7 days after the Idul Fitri D-Day, which falls on July 28-29, 2014.

         Of the 24 million Lebaran revelers, about 5.11 million will travel by sea through ships or ferries.
         Transportation Deputy Minister Bambang Susantono said early this month that the government will deploy at least 1,200 ships to cater to travelers who will arrive home by sea.
         PT Pelni has expressed its readiness to serve homebound travelers or "mudik" makers this year. PT Pelni will coordinate with various concerned parties in providing the services.
        "We have been preparing 25 passenger ships, with a total seating capacity of 45,077 passengers," said PT Pelni President Director Sulistyo Wimbo Hardjito on Wednesday (July 2, 2014).

Sabtu, 19 Juli 2014

PEOPLE HOPE FOR PEACE DURING POLL ANNOUNCEMENT

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, July 19 (Antara) - As they feel the rising tensions,  the public hopes that peace will remain in place when the General Elections Commission (KPU) announces the results of the July 9 presidential polls next Tuesday.
         The rising temperature of the political atmosphere has been ongoing since the presidential campaigns were launched last month. Further, tensions have been exacerbated by the victory claims of the two contesting presidential candidates, based upon the unofficial quick counts.
         Therefore, the public hopes that there would not be a chaotic situation when the KPU announces the presidential election results next Tuesday, July 22, 2014.
         The hope for continuing peace has also been expressed by Din Syamsudin, the executive board chairman of the country's second largest Muslim organization, Muhammadiyah. Further, the same call came  from Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Chairul Tanjung.
        Chairul Tanjung said that the people hoped the announcement of the election results on July 22 could be conducted in a situation conducive for peace.
        "We believe that the people's voice is the voice of God (Vox populi vox Dei). Therefore, we hope all sides will respect the voice of the people. Whatever the people have voiced is the best for the nation," the minister said on Friday.

Rabu, 16 Juli 2014

GOVT TO MAINTAIN FOOD CROP PRODUCTION TARGET

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, July 16 (Antara) - The government will secure its 4.4 million hectare rice fields from drought and retain its production target of 70.24 million tons of unhusked rice and a surplus of 4.4 million tons of rice this year.
         The Ministry of Agriculture is convinced that if efforts are taken to safeguard rice fields from the threat of El Niño-related drought and production is maintained, a surplus of 4.2 million tons will be achieved.
         Acting Director General of Food Crops of the Ministry of Agriculture Haryono said on Wednesday that based on the Forecast I figure of the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS), the country's unhulled rice production this year is estimated at 69.87 million tons.
         "The efforts to secure rice plantations will be made through pest organism control (OPT) system, fertilizer supplies, reduction of deprecation in harvest production or losses, and the provision of agricultural equipment," he pointed out.
         Stocks of pesticides are now more than adequate to carry out OPT pest control. Likewise, agricultural equipment is also sufficient, such as the procurement of water pumps used in anticipation of the impact of the El Niño weather phenomenon.
         The directorate general of food crops has also planned to take satellite images of the existing rice plantations or the standing crops in East Java, Central Java, West Java, and Banten.

MUSLIM CONSUMERS WARNED OF PORK-TAINTED MEAT

 By Andi Abdussalam 
          Jakarta, July 16 (Antara) - Amid increasing need for beef in the face of the post-fasting Idul Fitri festivities or 'Lebaran', Muslim consumers are warned of pork-tainted meat circulating in the market.
         Consumption of meat is on the rise in the fasting month of Ramadan, particularly in the face of the Lebaran festivities, yet several consumers failed to distinguish between beef and pork.
    As Muslims are not permitted to consume swine meat, they have to exercise caution while buying beef. After all, numerous cases have surfaced wherein beef was mixed with pork before it was sold to consumers in the market.

         Beef is adulterated with cheaper wild boar meat that is smuggled from Sumatra to Java and is sold in the traditional markets.
         "Seeing an increase in the number of cases of illegal smuggling of swine meat, we can conclude that there are parties who are trying to benefit from the Ramadan fasting month by mixing beef with pork," Agriculture Minister Suswono stated while destroying a total of 7.4 tons of illegal wild boar meat in Cilegon, Banten, on Wednesday.

Selasa, 15 Juli 2014

GOVERNMENT TO PROTECT TRAVELERS FROM TICKET SCALPERS

 by Andi Abdussalam  
          Jakarta, July 15 (Antara) - The period of post-fasting, the Idul Fitri holidays, or Lebaran, where millions of travelers return home for family reunions, has found ticket scalpers reaping profits from would-be passengers.
         Passengers who often become the target of scalpers are often those traveling by ship, train or bus. Air transportation is relatively safe from abuse by these middlemen.
         The Ministry of Transportation will, therefore, focus its attention on protecting passengers from becoming victims of ticket scalpers by increasing the number of ships and trains available during the holiday period.
         The Ministry will also cooperate with  police and other security officials to urge the public to report scalpers to the police.
         Further, Transportation Minister EE Mangindaan said that officials and the public should cooperate to stop ticket scalpers who target travelers prior to the post-fasting Idul Fitri festivities.
         "Ticket scalper practices are one of the things that have to be fought against by the alert forces of the police and other security officials," the transportation minister said on Monday.

Senin, 14 Juli 2014

PEOPLE AWAIT REALIZATION OF MARITIME 'TOLL ROAD'

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, July 14 (Antara) - The people, particularly businesspeople, are awaiting the realization of a maritime supercorridor transportation system that will link thousands of Indonesian islands from the eastern to the Western regions, cutting freight costs up to 50 percent.
         The concept of the maritime supercorridor has been prepared by the current government in what it calls 'Pendulum Nusantara' (Archipelago Pendulum) program where large tonnage ships with cargoes or passengers serve main sea lanes and call at six major seaports located in areas stretching from the eastern to western parts of the country.
         The government hopes the sea corridor will help smooth the implementation of the national connectivity program as regulated in Presidential Instruction No. 26/2013 on National Logistics System.
         In a recent presidential debate, presidential candidate Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, revealed his program on the sea transportation system, which he called 'Maritime Toll Road' scheme, a sea lane transportation system which is more or less the same as the  'Pendulum Nusantara' concept.
         Therefore, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) supported the idea of Jokowi to follow up the sea lane development program, as the current maritime-based national connectivity scheme designed to boost economic development and growth has yet to be implemented.